Kansas Albums Ranked

Kansas is an American rock band that became popular in the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as “Carry On Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind”. The band has produced nine gold albums, three multi-platinum albums (Leftoverture 6x, Point of Know Return 4x, The Best of Kansas 4x), one other platinum studio album (Monolith), one platinum live double album (Two for the Show), and a million-selling single, “Dust in the Wind”. Kansas appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the 1970s and 1980s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. “Carry On Wayward Son” was the second-most-played track on US classic rock radio in 1995 and No. 1 in 1997. Here are all Kansas albums ranked.

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10. Power (1986)

“This Kansas is very different animal than the 70’s version of Kansas. With Steve Morse on guitar it is obvious something would have to change. Many things are different about this album. Most notably the lack of the signature violin. Power is one heavy guitar laden album. It is very powerful with more of a pop metal edge to it than previous Kansas Albums. A lot of Kansas fans panned this album but if you listen without expectations and an open mind you will find one powerful albums.”

9. In The Spirit Of Things (1988)

“I fell in love with ITSOT album from the first song; it remains my favorite. Ghosts is an underrated song which conveys the feeling of going to a long past historical site and feeling the impact of the history there. What too many reviewers miss is that this is also a concept album about World War I with the story going back and forth from a small town in Kansas which was wiped away by a massive flood to a soldier probably in Europe who is fatally in love with a woman back home. It reminded me that all Wars have their emotional casualties. I love all the songs and it led me to eventually buy all the Kansas albums. “

8. Vinyl Confessions (1982)

“Vinyl Confessions, Kansas’ first album after the departure of Steve Walsh, still remains one of their best. While John Elefante lacks the power and emotion of Steve Walsh, he is still a very good singer. But as always with Kansas, the real key to their success is in songwriting and musicianship. Most of the songs lack the intricacies of much of their older stuff, but they are still well-written and expertly arranged. Also, as a wannabee drummer, I appreciate how much Phil Ehart’s drumming is featured on almost every song. The songs have a sharper feel than most of their older albums, and a band known for tight arrangements perhaps reached their peak in that respect on Vinyl Confessions. I highly recommend this album.”

7. Audio-Visions (1980)

“Kansas’ seventh studio album (eighth overall) entitled Audio-Visions was released in September of 1980.
During the band’s Monolith tour, guitarist/keyboard player Kerry Livgren and bass player Dave Hope were “spritually awoken” and became born-again Christians. As a result, Livgren’s songwriting went more spiritual and Christian oriented whilst singer/keyboard player Steve Walsh was still writing straight-ahead rock and roll and living the rock star life.”

6. Monolith (1979)

“Awesome release from this iconic group. Despite being one of the last albums with the “original” line-up, the band maintains its momentum from the previous monster releases. A must have for any KANSAS fan or ’70s Rock aficionado. The album blasts out of the gate with the whimsical epic “On The Other Side” and then right into “People of the South Wind.” The rest of the tracks are equal in emotion and prowess. This era of KANSAS is the most exceptional, capped off by “Monolith.” Outstanding record.”

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5. Kansas (1974)

“Surely, no one in the band and perhaps only a few listeners could have anticipated just what Kansas would accomplish over the 30 year span that bridges the gap between now and when this was originally released. Their mix of bar room blues and symphonic rock was entirely original and has never been matched. While not as widely appealing as some of the band’s later material, this disc is an excellent collection of songs and Glixman has done a wonderful job giving these rusty old songs an incredibly more vibrant sound. For some, this album better reflects the band’s roots in bar room/small venue settings because the music is raw and the bluesy rock influences are more prominent. No where can that be better heard than on the cult favorite “Bringing it Back,” which you won’t every hear on the radio alongside greats such as “Carry on my Wayward Son.””

4. Song For America (1975)

“On Song for America (1975), there are suite-length pieces along with dense ensemble playing, metric complexity, instrumentation including the Hammond organ/Moog and ARP synthesizers, and sophisticated harmonic syntax. On the other side of the equation is the heavy beat and distorted electric guitar of hard rock/heavy metal bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. Although later Kansas albums like the excellent Point of Know Return (1977) provide a more thorough blend of the hard and prog rock styles, Song for America is significant in that it boasts some excellent compositions and may very well be the best album by Kansas from this early period.”

3. Masque (1975)

“Kansas created a wonder with this their third disc…”Masque” was a great disc for its time and really managed to tip the scales of Progressive rock back in the 1980’s. At this time they were still working with the original crew and it shows. I remember seeing them for the first time and it was during the time when they were promoting the album that came after this “SONG FOR AMERICA” I was amazed at the guitar and violin playing and how they reminded me of another band of a slightly earlier time called “THE FLOCK”.”

2. Point Of Know Return (1977)

“This is the peak for most Kansas Fans. Contains the Massive hits Point of Know Return and Dust In the Wind! This is the album the places Kansas in the Pantheon of the greats! If you were to only add one Kansas album to your collection this would be the one to choose first! It contains some of there biggest tracks and this is the album that marks the crossover from Progressive Rock and sees them entering a more commercial arena. The next albums will see the band heading into very commercial waters which is always a huge topic of debate for Kansas Fans. But for Point of Know Return it is a must have album that would appeal to fans of the progressive era and to fans of the later commercial era. It is truly a must have album.”

1. Leftoverture (1976)

“This is a great album from 1976 that shows Kansas bridging the gap between their excellent prog rock epics and the shorter hard rock tracks. The result is a collection of extremely tight and intricately arranged pieces (Magnum Opus is incredible in this regard) that feature the nimble ensemble work that characterized their proggiest material, yet are presented in a more cohesive format. Gone too are the shorter “boogie rock” pieces, resulting in a very balanced and proggy sounding album. In short, Leftoverture is an exceptionally fine example of progressive hard rock and shows Kansas starting to mature their sound.”